David Ortiz was a near-miss. But surely there are players who we’ve never heard of who missed entirely, and not because they were capable of any less than Ortiz was.
What we know a 26th man will definitely do is add 30 opportunities to play in the majors. Minor league rules tend to follow the majors’ lead, so it seems likely — at least possible — that immediately, or in time, the minors will add 26th spots, too, which would add hundreds of other opportunities. I consider baseball to be almost a public utility, a vehicle for Sean Smith Authentic Jersey every child to dream of and aspire toward, and adding more opportunities is as much a public good as nationwide broadband access or the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line. I, therefore, love it.
With the way teams constantly shuffle the back end of their rosters — go check out the transactions file this past season for the Dodgers or Mariners — it makes sense to add another guy since teams are essentially playing with 26-man rosters anyway. I’ve actually advocated for a 28-man taxi squad, which is a system used in Japan, where you activate 25 guys each game. I like the idea of spreading the wealth around and seeing more pinch-hitters and pinch-runners.
Is there an avenue for Fowler to return, or is the smart move for the Cubs to spend that money elsewhere?
“We’ll keep talking to his agent,” Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said on ESPN 1000 in Chicago on Friday. “We have a great relationship with him. He’s had two great years with us. If something works out to bring him back, that would be great.”
A commitment to Dexter Fowler would tie up the Cubs’ payroll and bank on him being Sebastian Janikowski Authentic Jersey productive into his mid-30s. David Kohl/USA TODAY Sports
Unlike last offseason, Fowler shouldn’t have to wait until the last minute to sign a contract. His .393 on-base percentage and great reputation in the locker room are attractive to several teams.
It also doesn’t hurt to hit a World Series Game 7 home run and show defensive improvements before hitting the market. And then there’s the difference between last winter — when pitchers and big-name stars gobbled up the money early in the offseason — and this one, with Fowler about as attractive as any other player available.